MLG's new mask mandate

In this week's Intelligencer, MLG mandates masks, political activists hijack redistricting, political strategists in Washington debate how to connect with Hispanics, the governor helps hapless Mayor Keller fight crime, and the Mesilla Valley loses a icon of the community.

The Intelligencer is a weekly newsletter that gives you a quick overview of La Politica across New Mexico and the U.S., covering topics such as policy, current events, the political landscape, and tech.

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Dax Contreras
Executive Director, Hispanos Unidos


1. MLG issues new dictate: mandatory masks

mlg mask

The mandate: Governor Lujan-Grisham flexes her executive order muscles yet again as she mandates masks indoors for public buildings. She also commands workers at “high-risk” places such as hospitals, nursing homes, juvenile detention centers, and residential treatment. This goes for “all workers at private, public and charter schools” who must also get the vax or “submit to weekly testing.” The announcement also noted that COVID-19 vaccination or proof of negative test will be required for NM State Fair admission later this fall.

More to the story: Even though the Gov’s main talking point is to get the jab, proof of full vaccination will NOT exempt you from the order. Remember, the whole point of getting vaccinated (we were originally told) was to lift all restrictions. The shifting of the goal posts continues to erode her credibility, and New Mexico will now be one of only three other states with a blanket mask mandate.

Double standards: While MLG scolds and threatens New Mexicans, she says nothing about the thousands of COVID-19 positive who cross illegally through our borders, nor does she criticize Senators Heinrich and Lujan who voted last week against a bill amendment that would require illegal immigrants to be COVID tested and quarantined.

2. Cultural Marxists organize for gerrymandering

las cruces map

The plan: The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) will spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on manipulating the redistricting process and one of its targets is NM CD-2. CHC’s political action committee, BOLD PAC, will team up with already well-funded “non-partisan” activist groups to turn the traditionally Republican district into a permanent Democrat seat.

Who’s involved: Under the guise of making sure Hispanics are properly represented, a project under the umbrella of the influential Center for Civic Policy, “People’s Power, People’s Map,” is being  organized by socialist front groups NM CAFÉ and Somos Un Pueblo Unido. State Rep. Angelica Rubio was a paid organizer for NM CAFÉ and led the drive to get minimum wage on the ballot for the 2014 midterms in Las Cruces.

Why it matters: The Democrats already hold a near super majority over the state, which is never good for a free society regardless of party. Last November, House Speaker Brian Egolf said 2020 was, “the last election for New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District’s” current map, “and we’ll have to see what that means for Republican chances to hold it.”

3. Washington debates how to connect with Hispanics


Details: After the 2020 election and the surprising gains of Hispanic support of the GOP (and collapse of Democrat support), party strategists on both sides are debating how to reach Hispanic voters as the 2022 cycle quickly approaches.

The big picture: The tight margin of control in the U.S. House of Representatives under current Speaker Nancy Pelosi will make the fight for the Hispanic vote more magnified than under normal political circumstances. 

Historically, Democrats tend to believe that overall, the party does better with Hispanic voters than Republicans, but there is growing recognition that Hispanics are not a monolithic voting bloc and that outreach needs to start much earlier.

What they're saying: "The parties’ renewed efforts are especially important in Texas, where the 2020 census not only led to the state gaining two seats in the House, it showed people who identified as Hispanic or Latino were responsible for more than 50 percent of the state's population growth over the last decade, much of it concentrated in the suburbs of major cities like Dallas."

What we're watching: Related to the story mentioned above regarding redistricting, the DCCC announced in June that it was making a “seven-figure” investment in organizing “communities of color” across Texas, the earliest investment of that kind in its history. The catalyst of the early investment is clear: if the current trend of Hispanic GOP support in Texas (as well as other other Hispanic localities) continues, the coalition of voters required for Democrats to win local, state, and federal elections will be much harder to build and maintain.

4. MLG throws Keller a (crime fighting) bone


Details: On Tuesday, MLG sent "nearly three dozen state officers to help Albuquerque police tackle crime in the area."

Why it matters: The move comes days after a boy was shot and killed by another student at an Albuquerque middle school, part of the crime wave that has set a new yearly homicide record in Albuquerque. The added police presence gives MLG political cover for herself and fellow Democrat Tim Keller, who is in the middle of a reelection campaign with crime as an obvious hot topic on the mind of voters in Albuquerque.

The big picture: The progressive push to "defund the police" is in conflict with the reality on the ground in Albuquerque and, more recently, in Las Cruces. The increased police presence will no doubt upset MLG and Keller's progressive allies, but the political reality (as we covered last week) necessitates common sense approaches including an increased police presence.

5. Las Cruces Icon Passes Away


One last item for this week.

Yesterday, the community of Las Cruces lost one of its most beloved citizens. Roberto Estrada, a family man known for his constant and gracious generosity, passed on to the afterlife. He was in his mid 80’s and had been fighting cancer. Born and raised in the Mesilla Valley, Roberto was a successful entrepreneur, owner of Roberto’s Mexican Food, a family business. For over 30 years, Roberto was the chef behind The Whole Enchilada Fiesta, which featured the giant enchilada that held the Guinness World Record for World's Largest Enchilada from 2000 to 2010. Roberto treated everyone with kindness and warmth, always smiling and always ready to donate time and massive amounts of foods to non-profits, student clubs, and individuals. We, at Hispanos Unidos, offer our strongest condolences to his family and friends.

Te extrañaremos hermano. Descansa en paz.